How to Make an Authentic Roman Pizza Like an Italian

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Are you craving an authentic Roman pizza?

The beauty of pizza comes in all shapes and sizes…small, large, circle, square, thin crust, thick crust, stuffed crust, gluten-free, extra toppings.

In this post, we’ll show you how to make the dough and a classic tomato sauce at home.

What is Roman Pizza

Roman pizza is a style of pizza that originated in Rome, Italy. It has a thin, crispy crust that is made with a by hand with a long fermentation time.

The pizza is topped with various ingredients. Roman pizza is also knows as pizza al taglio, pizza alla pala, or pinsa. It is a popular street food that can be eaten by the slice.

Ancient Roman Pizza Recipe

We can all agree that pizza is one of the best year-round comfort foods — ever. Pizza makes people happy and we want to help you make and serve some hot slices of happiness like a native Italian… right now! 

But this is not your ordinary pizza recipe. It has passed from Italian to Italian for generations and we feel very fortunate to share it with you.

When it comes to foods that Italians recommend in Italy, pizza is at the top of the list.

authentic-roman-pizza

This authentic Italian recipe is so simple and so delicious that it leaves you wanting more.

As the saying goes, you get out what you put in. So, shop for quality ingredients at a store where Italian goods are sold.

The ingredients for the dough and tomato sauce are few and it will make all the difference in the taste experience.

As a tip, preparing the dough takes about 5 hours so plan ahead!

Authentic Roman Pizza

Recipe by Tanya TaylorCourse: Italy
Servings

1

servings
Prep time

30

minutes
Cooking time

40

minutes
Calories

300

kcal

Ingredients

  • 3 3/4 cup double zero flour

  • 3/4 TBSP brewer’s yeast

  • 1 1/2 cup mineral water (room temperature)

  • 1/2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil

  • 3/4 TBSP salt

  • Classic Tomato Sauce
  • 1 can (400 g) whole peeled tomatoes

  • 12 to 15 fresh basil leaves

  • 1 whole garlic (finely diced)

  • 1 TBSP salt

  • Extra virgin olive oil

  • Fresh mozzarella (about 18 2×3 slices)

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  • Sift the flour, measure, and put in a large bowl.
  • Add the brewer’s yeast (it should be fine and crumbly) and mix with a wooden spoon.
  • Combine the flour with water, pouring about 1/2 a cup at a time. mix with wooden spoon. Repeat until water is used and continue mixing so that it is completely absorbed by the four and yeast.
  • Add the salt and extra virgin olive oil while mixing roughly (no kneading).
  • Cover the bowl with a sheet of cling wrap and let it rise for 30 minutes at room temperature. Make sure the wrap is covered tightly and the dough is away from cool air or drafts.
  • After 30 minutes, transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface.
  • Dust both hands with a bit of flour. With the palm of your hands, apply pressure to the middle of the dough and pull towards the opposite end, then fold it back on itself.
  • Repeat this a total of 12 times and add a light sprinkle of flour if your hands or the surface are too sticky.
  • When complete, put the dough back in the bowl, cover tightly with cling wrap, and let it rise for another 20 minutes.
  • Repeat steps 6 to 10 to work the dough two more times.
  • Before covering the last time, drizzle some oil over the dough. Now let it sit at room temperature for at least 3 hours.
  • Classic Tomato Sauce
  • Pour the tomatoes into a large bowl. Using your hands, break up the tomatoes into smaller pieces.
  • Finely dice the garlic and add to the tomatoes, then mix well.
  • Chop about 10 leaves of basil, add to the bowl of tomatoes, and mix to combine all the ingredients.
  • Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil into the mixture and stir.
  • Let the sauce sit so that the herbs can marinate with the tomatoes for 20 minutes.
  • Set the mozzarella aside. It will be added after the pizza has been baked.

Notes

  • Follow the instructions below for rolling the dough and baking the pizza.

Making Authentic Roman Pizza

When ready to make the pizzas, transfer the dough to a work surface and divide it into three blocks of the same weight. Next, shape each pizza into the desired thickness.

Use your hands to spread the dough or a rolling pin (we won’t judge you). Try not to use too much flour, the dough should have a bit of oil which will help it stick to parchment paper.

Cover the dough with the parchment paper so that the dough will maintain its shape when you pick it up and place it on a baking sheet.

In rotation, add a spoonful of tomato sauce to each pizza. This will ensure each pizza is loved equally with tomato sauce. Next, spread the sauce and evenly distribute it to the edges.

Drizzle the extra virgin olive oil and bake for about 12 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.

Remove from the oven and place 5 to 6 slices of mozzarella on top. Then return each pizza to the oven and bake until the mozzarella has melted (about 5 minutes).

Garnish with whole basil leaves and drizzle a bit of extra virgin olive oil on top.

Don’t you wish you could scratch and sniff? The aroma is amazing. The crust is crisp (and slightly chewy if rolled thick) and has a wonderful flavor. It’s incredible that something so simple can taste so good. 

No matter what happens, pizza will always be there for you, through thick and thin. In crust, we trust. We are also Team Pass-The-Pasta!

Final Thoughts on Making an Authentic Roman Pizza

I am so grateful that my friend shared this recipe with me. My daughter and I spent the afternoon creating this dish and it was a wonderful bonding experience in the kitchen.

We got creative with the dough (making heart shapes) and experimented with other toppings. If you are a fan of Italian food, this one really hits! I think variations like prosciutto, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, arugula would make a great addition. Sauteed or roasted mushrooms would add a nice earthy flavor.

When I return to Italy, I may take a cooking class to learn how to make pizza or a few other Italian dishes. Immersing into food culture while traveling makes the experience even more memorable.

So look for other delicious recipes like cacio e pepe or search the blog to find pasta cooking experiences in Rome or food and drink recommendations from our travels.


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2 Comments

  1. Kevin Foodie says:

    Nothing beats a good homemade pizza crust. I appreciate the use of fresh ingredients. Simple, but looks like loads of flavor. Thanks for sharing Tanya.

    1. Tanya Taylor says:

      You hit the nail on the head, freshness is the key ingredient! Thank you for reading 🙂